A forensic psychologist testified Tuesday that actress Amber Heard suffers from a borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder, as the civil lawsuit between Heard and ex-husband Johnny Depp continues to reveal the personal problems of the couple.
Depp is suing Heard for defamation in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she referred to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”. The article does not mention Depp, but the actor’s lawyers say it contains “libel by implication” because it clearly refers to allegations of domestic abuse made by Heard when she filed for divorce in 2016.
The psychologist, Shannon Curry, was hired by Depp’s legal team. She said she arrived at her diagnosis through 12 hours of interviewing Heard, as well as reviewing her mental health records on her.
Curry also testified that Heard does not suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from her relationship with Depp, as she has claimed.
Depp’s team hopes Curry’s testimony will bolster their claim that Heard was the aggressor in the relationship. Depp just wrapped up four days of depositions in which he spoke about Heard’s “need for conflict” and her tendency to harass and chase him during arguments when he tried to get away from her.
Both personality disorders are similar, Curry said. Borderline personality is a disease of instability, she explained, “driven by an underlying fear of abandonment.” She said people with the disorder “will go to desperate lengths to prevent that from happening.”
Evidence presented earlier in the trial includes audio clips of Heard begging Depp not to leave her after he expressed his desire to separate.
She also said that borderline personality disorder “appears to be a predictive factor for women who use violence against their partner.” Depp has said that she was a victim of domestic violence and that Heard hit him multiple times and threw objects like paint cans and vodka bottles at him.
Histrionic personality disorder, Curry said, is associated with “drama and shallowness” and a need to be the center of attention.
He said there is a correlation between the disorder with people who are physically attractive and “use their appearance to attract attention.”
Curry will be questioned by Heard’s attorneys Tuesday afternoon.
While the libel suit is supposed to focus on whether Depp was defamed in the article, most of the trial has focused on the ugly details of the couple’s brief marriage.
Depp has denied hitting Heard. Heard’s attorneys say Depp physically and sexually abused her and that Depp’s denials are without merit because he was often drunk and drugged beyond recall.